FINANCE

Express Q4 profit tops Street; outlook weak

BY Marianne Wilson

Columbus, Ohio — Express said its fourth-quarter net income rose a better-than-expected 6%, but its full-year projection for earnings came up short as the retailer provided a weak outlook.

Express, similar to many other retailers, had less traffic in February, as higher taxes and rising gas prices cut into shoppers’ discretionary spending.

For the period ended Feb. 2, Express Inc. earned $63.9 million, up from $60.4 million a year earlier.

Revenue increased 8% to $728.7 million from $673.2 million. Same-store sales rose 1.5%.

Full-year net income inched down 1% to $139.3 million, from $140.7 million in the previous year.

Annual revenue rose 4% to $2.15 billion from $2.07 billion. Same-store sales were flat.

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OPERATIONS

Survey: Chick-fil-A leads fast-food industry in customer service

BY Staff Writer

Waban, Mass. — Chick-fil-A, Dunkin’ Donuts, Sonic Drive-In, and Little Caesar’s earned the top spots in the fast food sector of the 2013 Temkin Experience Ratings. At the other end of the spectrum, KFC and McDonalds were the lowest-rated fast food restaurants. The fast food industry earned the second highest average rating out of 19 industries, falling only behind the grocery sector.

"In an industry with consistently high customer experience ratings, Chick-fil-A stands out on top," said Bruce Temkin, managing partner of Temkin Group. Chick-fil-A was the top-scoring fast food chain for the second straight year, with a rating of 82%, making it number three across all industries.

It also earned the top marks for functional and emotional components in fast foods.

The Temkin Experience Ratings evaluates three areas of customer experience: functional (can customers do what they want to do), accessible (how easy it is to work with the company), and emotional (how consumers feel about their interactions).

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Teen Vogue to create collection for Macy’s

BY CSA STAFF

NEW YORK — Macy’s has announced Teen Vogue as the latest fashion-forward collection to launch exclusively in Macy’s Mstylelab department. Aimed at the most discerning teenage fashionistas, Teen Vogue will bring Macy’s customers the latest trends from the combined fashion eye of Macy’s and "Teen Vogue." The collection will be available in approximately 150 Macy’s stores nationwide and on macys.com this March.

"We are very excited to be expanding ‘Teen Vogue’ even further with our collection for Mstylelab. As part of our Brand Everywhere approach, we’ve created a fashion line that really resonates with our style-obsessed audience," says "Teen Vogue" editor-in-chief, Amy Astley. "We’ve had terrific success with our branded mobile game, Teen Vogue Me Girl, and with our bedding collection, so apparel was the next logical step and Macy’s is the ideal partner."

Curated by the editors at "Teen Vogue," Teen Vogue will feature maxi dresses, jumpsuits, printed leggings, short dresses, chambray shirts, bandeaus, shorts, bralettes, jackets and tanks. This spring, the brand will focus on five key trends: bejeweled, neon, sheer, vests and denim dressing. With an eclectic mix of pieces, this collection will allow for creativity and individuality when dressing. Continuing throughout the year, approximately 15 new pieces will rotate onto the floor every month, offering up-to-the-minute fashion for style setters. Available in approximately 150 Macy’s stores nationwide and on macys.com, Teen Vogue will be priced from $20 to $60.

"Macy’s collaboration with ‘Teen Vogue’ is another way we are reinventing our merchandise assortment for this important customer," said Tim Baxter, Macy’s executive vice president of fashion, lease and multicultural offices. "The collection will provide the latest trends styled to look like the innovative and eclectic pages of the magazine, and will provide a compelling new reason for Millennials to visit our stores."

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